The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas
GA 74

Preface to Part Two

The following passages from the writings of Thomas Aquinas are not meant as “evidence” or to “support” Dr. Steiner's addresses. The force that lives in the spiritually and historically powerful argument of these addresses makes external support superfluous.

These passages — with my comments — are meant only as a kind of “environment.” I once spoke on the subject “From Thomas Aquinas to Rudolf Steiner” in a room at Cologne where mediaeval paintings and woodcarvings were exhibited. I felt these works of Art were living helpers and several listeners felt the same. Such a “contemporary environment” can perhaps help some readers to feel more strongly the objective trend of the three foregoing addresses in all its importance.

And then, why should one not set by the side of all the books on Thomas Aquinas, learned and unlearned, thick and thin, on the market to-day, which necessarily destroy the form of his thoughts, a small selection of translations from the text, which are meant to be at the same time less and more; examples how the hand of Thomas Aquinas chiselled the stone of dead logical thought into living speaking sculpture.

If one is not content to marvel only at the results of Thomas' thinking, but notices also how he had the power to take his thoughts “in his hand” and form them like an artist, only then does one see the immortality of this mind shining through the transience of his works. And then every man who is really conscious of the present time will recognize as an innermost event in his spiritual life, the spiritually and historically powerful motif — from Thomas Aquinas to Rudolf Steiner — with which the three preceding addresses are permeated.